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For anyone who wants to try making their own kombucha drinks at home so they’re the freshest they can be, Mad Millie’s Organic Kombucha SCOBY is the secret ingredient that will get the fermentation underway. And you don’t need much more… a generously sized glass jar (or two), a piece of muslin to tie around the top while the drink ferments, and a lid to seal the jar once you’re ready to store it in the fridge.
What is Kombucha tea?
A fair question to ask… Kombucha – also called booch or bootch – is a fermented, slightly tart drink that begins as sweetened tea and can be drunk as a still or slightly sparkling beverage. It can taste quite different from batch to batch depending on what variety of tea is used to start the brew and can be flavoured after fermentation by adding fresh berries, citrus fruits, herbs, spices, and even vegetables or sweeteners like honey. Because it’s fermented, Kombucha does contain alcohol, but at a very low content of approx. 0.5% ABV.
What is a SCOBY?
The name SCOBY is an acronym for Symbiotic Colony Of Bacteria and Yeast, a combination of gut-friendly yeasts and bacteria. It’s the key ingredient that really makes the magic happen, kick-starting the fermentation process that turns sweet tea into Kombucha and providing all of the gut-friendly flora. It may not be very pretty to look at, but it’s the beauty within that counts, and it has that in abundance… the cultures will regenerate every time it’s used to brew with and little SCOBYs will break away from the ‘mother’ to provide you with a lifetime supply, if well looked after. The mini SCOBYs can be kept to replace the original or gifted to friends to help them reap the same benefits by creating their own kombucha drinks.
Interesting fact: scientifically, your SCOBY should be referred to as a Zoogleat Mat.
Mad Millie’s kombucha recipe
Tip: On the first ferment, the best flavour profile is usually found between 15-25 days, depending on how tangy you like your kombucha.
What are the benefits thought to be?
Kombucha is by no means a new phenomenon; it is thought that it may even date back to 2000 BC in Asia, where it was known as The Tea of Immortality. While it can’t truly promise immortality, it can certainly lay claim to a whole host of other gut-healthy virtues, which is why it has been a staple drink in many cultures around the world for centuries. Each batch of this wondrous elixir contains organic acids, B vitamins, antioxidants and ‘probiotics’, with benefits that are said to include improved immune system, improved digestion and even joint care.
How to store your SCOBY
The mild acidic content of Kombucha means that it is easily able to resist contamination by most airborne mould or bacteria spores, so simple good food hygiene practice is all that is required. Keep it in a sealed jar in 300ml of your latest batch of kombucha and store it in the fridge – just remember to take it out the night before brewing again to allow it to return to room temperature.
About Mad Millie
Justifiably famed for their cheese-making kits, which let us make artisan cheeses in our own homes, Mad Millie are a young company from the beautiful islands of New Zealand. Founded by people with a passion for delicious, handcrafted foods, they’ve widened their range to include all sorts of gourmet, artisan and healthy make-it-yourself foods, including kefir, kombucha and dairy-free yoghurts and cheeses. The philosophy behind their kits is always “to make it as easy as possible, minimise unnecessary nasty ingredients and processing, and help you have a little bit of fun re-connecting with food in the kitchen…”
1 SCOBY; makes 1 litre at first use.
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